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Another member quits body that awards Nobel literature prize

AP  |  Copenhagen 

A member of the academy that awards the in Literature said Wednesday she is leaving the body, the latest person to quit amid sex and financial crimes scandals at the exclusive group.

is the eighth person to quit or to be forced off the 18-member board of the since the scandals broke last year.

Swedish broadcaster reported that Svenungsson, who joined in December, left after "careful consideration." The broadcaster quoted her as saying she wanted to focus on her full-time job as a

The Swedish Academy's permanent secretary, Anders Olsson, told Sweden's TT agency that "it has been an extremely hard year for all of us, I can understand the difficulty she has had as a new member to enter the academy in the middle of this war."

The scandals have led the troubled academy to postpone the 2018 literature prize, with the intention of awarding it in 2019. The body has elected three new members in recent weeks to try to fill the vacant seats.

The academy's troubles centered on Jean-Claude Arnault, a major cultural figure in and the husband of former member Arnault, 72, was convicted of rape in October and sentenced to two years in prison.

has denied wrongdoing and appealed the ruling.

The allegations against the Frenchman began in November 2017 when 18 women came forward in a Swedish newspaper with accusations against him.

An internal investigation found in April that "unacceptable behaviour in the form of unwanted intimacy" had taken place within the ranks of the prestigious institution.

But a fierce internal debate over how to face up to the academy's flaws in responding to the misconduct divided its 18 members into hostile camps.

Several members either left or disassociated themselves from the secretive academy.

Its then permanent secretary, Sara Danius, quit in April at the same time as Frostenson, leading observers to wonder why some of Sweden's most accomplished women appeared to the taking the fall for a man's alleged misconduct.

Many people in the Scandinavian nation, known for promoting gender equality, have expressed dismay over the scandal, which has led to accusations of patriarchal leanings among some academy members.

After the sex allegations surfaced, the Academy's annual funding of 126,000 kronor (USD 14,000) to Arnault's cultural center was immediately stopped.

The academy stressed it had not been paid to personally.

He is also suspected of violating century-old Nobel rules by leaking names of winners of the prestigious award allegedly seven times, starting in 1996.

"It has been important and meaningful for me to contribute to the Academy's reconstruction in the wake of the crisis that ironically coincided with my entry," Svenungsson said, according to Swedish media.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, November 07 2018. 21:40 IST